Duranta Plant Profile
Gardeners don't seem to be able to acquire enough blue flowers in their landscapes. The tropical duranta plant (Duranta erecta) produces hundreds of pale blue, white, or violet bloom clusters during the growing season.
The duranta has lovely evergreen foliage, with gold or variegated (various colored) leaves in some types. The arrival of attractive berries in the fall is an added pleasure. When planted in the spring, the duranta quickly grows into a large shrub or small tree in a few seasons in warm climates.
The Duranta Plant: How to Grow It
In full sun and mild weather, Duranta plants are easy to grow. They will quickly fill in a bare patch in the garden and, in areas where they are winter hardy, can be used as a privacy screen.
You can grow the duranta annually for the patio or even prune it into a topiary tree shape in a container garden during the summer. Many gardeners have had luck bringing their duranta containers indoors to use as winter houseplants.
Furthermore, even if you live beyond the plant's hardiness zones, you can still grow it as an annual in the ground. Plant it after the last frost has passed in the spring, and enjoy the flowers until the cold weather returns in the fall.
Duranta plants require full sunlight to produce blossoms and fruit. Plants that are overly shaded become lanky and sparse.
Provide rich, loamy soil while growing duranta plants as annuals to enable them to attain their full potential in one growing season. Duranta plants may withstand lean soil in their growing zones as long as it drains well.
A considerable amount of water is required for Duranta plants. Plants that are grown outside require an inch of rain every week. If you're growing your duranta in a container, water it until the top of the soil feels dry.
Humidity and Temperature
The duranta enjoys the heat and will not be slowed down by triple-digit temperatures. When the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, move the plant inside if growing it in a container. Furthermore, duranta plants thrive in both dry and wet environments. They can also withstand the saline air of coastal locations.
Duranta plants are not heavy feeders and can thrive in rich soil without additional fertilizer. During the growing season, use an all-purpose general fertilizer once a month in lean or rocky soils.
Replanting and Potting
Use any high-quality bagged potting soil mix for potting your duranta plant. If your duranta isn't thriving and you're seeing a lot of roots growing out of the dirt, it's time to move it to pot size.
Repotting the duranta should be done with caution since larger specimens can develop sharp spines that can grow an inch long and easily puncture garden gloves and flesh. Plants with fewer or no spines are younger.
Duranta Plant Propagation
Propagating duranta plants is a cost-effective strategy to increase their population, as well as a way to overwinter plants when the original specimen is too large to bring indoors.
Leaf cuttings, stem cuttings, and softwood cuttings of Duranta plants root quickly. When growth hormones are active in the spring, take your cutting. Cuts should be placed in damp perlite or sterile potting mix. Cover the cutting with a clear container or cloche to keep it wet.
It's critical to keep the duranta in check, especially in locations where it's winter hardy. Duranta can take over walkways and structures and choke out other plants if not pruned. Because duranta plants produce blooms only on new growth, you can severely prune them in the winter to prepare for the spring growth spurt.
Planting Durantas in Containers
Plants of the Duranta genus adapt well to container culture, and, when given the confines of a pot, they can be tidier examples. For this fast-growing plant, choose a large 16-inch pot. Also, make sure the pot is well-drained.
Growing From seeds
In the fall, you can collect seeds from ripe duranta berries to start new plants. Keep the seeds moist by lightly pressing them into a sterilized potting mix. At 70 degrees Fahrenheit, germination takes 30 to 60 days.
Duranta Plant Varieties
Duranta comes in many distinct color combinations. They are as follows:
- 'Alba': This plant produces white flower clusters.
- 'Golden Edge': The foliage of this cultivar is vivid gold and green.
- 'Sapphire Showers': Vivid violet blooms with white margins characterize this variety.
- Phlox vs. Duranta
The flower clusters of some purple Phlox paniculata cultivars resemble those of the duranta plant. Gardeners in northern growth zones with chilly summers can consider phlox as a substitute for duranta plants. Garden phlox grows in zones 4 to 8, unlike duranta plants, which do not endure frost. Garden phlox blooms in the summer and grows from 3 to 4 feet tall when fully mature. 'Laura' and 'Blue Paradise' are two duranta cultivars with the same blue and lavender tones that gardeners love.